Financial 'nightmare' may be just about over for Hagerstown woman
Nancy Shulley leaves the East Irvin Avenue home in Hagerstown that is at the center of her financial nightmare. (By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer / January 12, 2013)
“I don’t even think like that because it just sets you up for another downfall,” said Hagerstown resident Nancy Shulley, who lost the title to her city home after her lender filed for foreclosure in 2009.
“Things like that,” she said of the potential windfall, “just don’t happen to me.”
Now, because of the $8.5 billion settlement announced with 10 major U.S. lenders this past week, a windfall for Shulley just might happen.
“Wow-we!” Shulley said. “But I still don’t want to think it could happen.”
A financial ‘nightmare’
Readers of The Herald-Mail first met Shulley in March 2009 when her financial “nightmare” was profiled.
A research associate at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Md., Shulley paid $191,000 for a two-story brick house on Hagerstown’s East Irvin Avenue in 2005. She refinanced the mortgage twice and, after being unable to sell the house in 2008, she thought she got approval from her lender, U.S. Bank, to accept a woman’s offer to buy it for $148,300.
But after moving out, Shulley learned U.S. Bank had insurance against such losses and the insurer wouldn’t approve the sale unless Shulley agreed to pay back part of the claim. When she refused, the insurer refused to approve the sale.
Shulley complained to the Maryland Insurance Administration about the insurer’s demand.
“It’s like they’re holding my house for ransom,” she said in 2009.
Then, too, there were other problems.
The city of Hagerstown billed her $925.81 in early 2009 after a radiator burst inside the house, and 177,000 gallons had gushed out by the time a Realtor chanced by on Valentine’s Day weekend with a client.
A day or so later, a man working for the company hired by U.S. Bank to maintain the property called Frannie Parks, who was Shulley’s own Realtor, to say the bank wanted him to winterize the property, to shut off the water.
“Of course, winter’s almost over at this point. I said ‘too late,” Parks recalled. “That whole dining room floor was flooded and the basement was like a rain forest.
“I called the bank and said, ‘I can’t sell that house. I don’t think you can sell that house.”
As things turned out, the house wasn’t acquired by a nonbanking entity until two years later.
Washington County Circuit Court records show the bank’s foreclosure was filed in 2009 and ratified in August 2010. The following month, Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation records show, the property was turned over to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. and sold to a St. Thomas, Pa., company in March 2011.
The selling price was $62,500.